Relentless Central come from 4-2 down to win 5-4 in a crazy game at Heyside FC.
Manchester Central’s title ambitions had all but disappeared as they found themselves 4-2 down with less than ten minutes left. A sending off for Heyside turned the game on its head, and Manchester Central found another gear to score three goals in ten minutes, to keep their title hopes alive.
Paul Mcguire and his team knew they had to take maximum points from their remaining games if they are going to be crowned champions of the Premier Division come May. It had to start with a tough trip to third-placed Heyside.
Central started the strongest of the two sides and was rewarded after just six minutes as Elvis Amoakwa opened the scoring. Dario Germano whipped in a low free-kick which Cory Knight flicked onto Cyril Davies who Bicycle kicked it to Elvis Amoakwa who smashed the ball home from 5 yards to give Central the perfect start.
Central’s lead was short-lived, as Heyside started to ramp up the pressure and was rewarded as a deep cross from the right-hand side was headed back across goal, into the bottom corner by James Curley in the eleventh minute.
This goal seemed to kick Heyside into gear and continued to pile pressure on the Central back line with many long balls and corners. Their pressure paid off in the 16th minute as Adam Dale powered his header past Ben Jupp to give Heyside the lead.
After this goal, Central started to get a foothold in the game, creating various opportunities. Dan Burns and Josh Frith both had free kicks just on the edge of the Heyside box but didn’t manage to test the keeper.
Central finally equalised in the 26th minute as a Dan Burns corner was flicked in by Cory Knight into the top corner of the goal. This was the reaction McGuire would have wanted from his team after going behind.
Central took control of the game, and the front three of Dan Burns, Josh Frith and Cory Knight were starting to cause real problems for the Heyside defence. In the 38th minute, Cory Knight was bursting through and got brought down. Despite the defender being the last man, he didn’t receive a caution for the foul.
The half drew to a close with Central being on top creating the better chances after drawing level but, just could convert the opportunities.
The second half started off the same with Central having the majority of possession, but against the run of play, Heyside took the lead. A rare defensive mistake from Paul Riley allowed a Heyside forward to drive into the box and square it to Adam Dale who smashed it into the roof of the net to make it 3-2 to Heyside.
Heyside added another goal just seven minutes later. Central was adamant that they should have had a penalty in the build-up to the goal when Marcello Arhin appeared to be stamped on when trying to bring the ball down in the box. The referee waved play on, and Heyside broke up the pitch crossed the ball in and Adam Dale was on hand to head the ball over the onrushing Ben Jupp to complete this Hattrick and make it 4-2 to Heyside.
Central was given a lifeline as Jeremy Tunzele was brought down in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Dan Burns stepped up only to see his penalty get denied by a fantastic save from the Heyside keeper who dived to his top right corner to push the ball to safety.
Central’s 14 game unbeaten run and title aspirations seemed to be coming to an end at Crompton House, with central needing three goals in 15 minutes.
Heyside found themselves down to 10 men when James Curley got his second yellow after a very high challenge on Cyril Davies. Both players went to challenge for the ball, but Curley went with his boots and caught Davies in the chest, so got his marching orders.
The comeback started on 75 minutes as Paul Riley received the ball deep in his half, travelled to the halfway line before passing the ball 50 yards to Josh Frith on the edge of the Heyside box. Frith very cooly chipped the keeper to reduce the deficit to 4-3.
Ten minutes later Central found the equaliser through a fantastic bicycle kick from Cyril Davies. Paul Riley fired in a deep free-kick into the Heyside box; Dan Burns rose highest to head the ball into the path of Cyril Davies who acrobatically overhead kicked it past the Heyside keeper to make it 4-4.
The referee indicated five added minutes; Central was still pushing forward looking for the goal they needed to maintain their title hopes. A long ball was flicked on by Clinton into the path of Davies who flicked the ball over his head into the path of Mauro Mendes who lost his footing, but the ball was picked up by Josh Frith who took two touches before placing the ball into the bottom corner past a stationary keeper.
The Central bench erupted when the goal hit the back of the net, the jubilation of everyone’s faces showed how important that goal was for the club.
Central could have had more goals before the game ended, first of all, Mauro was clean through before being hacked down by a desperate Heyside defender, although he was the last man the official only decided to brandish a yellow card. Dan Burns could have got himself on the scoresheet as he rounded the keeper but saw his shot cleared off the line.
The result means Central have three massive games left of the season, Old Alts on the 6th April, Chadderton Reserves 13th April and Stockport Georgians 4th May. If Central take maximum points from the remaining games, they will be crowned champions of the Manchester League Premier Division.
View our winning goal below
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— Manchester Central FC (@mcrcentralfc) April 1, 2019